Third Palestinian in 24 hours killed by Israel army: health ministry


Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian during a raid in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, the third Palestinian killed in the occupied territory in 24 hours, the health ministry said.

The violence erupted in the Dheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem, a ministry statement said, identifying the dead man as Ayman Muhaisen, 29.

He was the third Palestinian killed in 24 hours after a woman allegedly approaching soldiers with a knife was shot early on Wednesday, and a man was killed in an Israeli raid in the northern West Bank later that day.

The Israeli security forces have stepped up their operations in the West Bank in recent months, carrying out almost daily raids to arrest suspects after a spate of deadly attacks inside Israel.

The army said troops had entered Dheisheh to arrest a Palestinian “suspected of terrorist activities” and were met with volleys of petrol bombs and cement blocks. They responded with live rounds.

Late on Wednesday, Israeli troops mounted an incursion into the village of Yabad outside Jenin to demolish the home of an alleged assailant in a March attack that killed five people in the Tel Aviv suburb of Bnei Brak.

The health ministry said after that raid, a Palestinian man died in a hospital in Jenin. He had been admitted in critical condition, having been “shot by live bullets in the chest and thigh”.

Palestinian news agency Wafa said that six Palestinians were wounded in the Israeli raid.

The army said it had also arrested the “terrorist’s father”. It said it had informed the family of the alleged shooter, Diaa Hamarsha, on April 17 of the demolition order against the family home.

Israel regularly destroys the homes of individuals it blames for attacks on Israelis.

The practice, which often fuels tensions, has been condemned by critics as a form of collective punishment. Israel insists it deters attacks.

On Wednesday morning, Israeli soldiers in the southern West Bank shot dead Ghofran Warasnah, 31, near Hebron after she “advanced” towards soldiers with a knife, the army said.

Nineteen people — including 18 inside Israel and a Jewish settler — have been killed in attacks, allegedly by Palestinians and Israeli Arabs, since late March.

Israeli security forces have responded with raids inside Israel and the West Bank, particularly in the flashpoint northern district of Jenin. Three alleged Israeli Arab attackers and a police commando have died.

Thirty-eight Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank, including an Al Jazeera journalist who was covering a raid in Jenin and bystanders.